NEW YORK — November 20, 2023 – Zach Greenwell
Louisville men’s basketball had a seven-point lead down the stretch Monday against Indiana, but the Hoosiers finished the game on a 13-2 run to pull out a 74-66 victory in the Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden.
The Cardinals’ lead was still 64-61 with 4:23 left after a dunk by senior forward JJ Traynor, but Indiana rattled off 13 straight points and stymied the UofL offense with an uncharacteristic switch to zone defense.
Louisville’s didn’t score again until a layup by sophomore guard Skyy Clark with four seconds left.
“They didn’t shoot the ball great, but they made adjustments, they picked up their adjustments quick,” UofL head coach Kenny Payne said of Indiana. “It caught us a little off-guard, and we became stagnant offensively. … We’re close, but we just have to get over the hump.”
Louisville (2-3) led 15-12 early at the 11:51 mark, but Indiana (4-1) answered with a pair of 7-0 runs that helped the Hoosiers build a 26-18 advantage with 5:57 remaining.
Their largest lead was 10 points in the final minutes, but the Cardinals got a basket from junior forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and a 3-pointer by Clark at the buzzer to trim the deficit to 34-29 at halftime.
IU’s lead swelled to 46-37 with 14:46 to go before Louisville went on a massive 21-5 run powered by its newcomers. The last 14 of those points were scored by true freshmen Kaleb Glenn, Ty-Laur Johnson and Curtis Williams. Two free throws by Johnson made it 58-51 at the 9:04 mark.
The Cardinals had just two field goals in the final 9:54.
“It really comes down to the last four minutes,” Clark said. “It was in our reach, and in the last four minutes we let it slip away. Both teams that we played, they’ve got more experience and older players, so they’ve been in those types of games. It’s something we can learn from … and even though we went 0-2, I think we showed people we can compete with some of the top teams in the country.”
Clark led Louisville with 19 points, while sophomore guard Tre White also found double figures with 10 points and five rebounds.
Xavier Johnson paced Indiana with 14 points, five assists and four rebounds.
The Cardinals return home after the Thanksgiving holiday to host New Mexico State at 1 p.m. ET Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center. The game will stream on ACC Network Extra.